Case Removed to Federal CourtPosted: August 10, 2006 Filed under: General 3 Comments »
A&E and Departure Films have removed the case from the local South Carolina Court of Common Pleas to the Federal District Court for South Carolina. This has the practical effect of making the documents I post here cost money. Other than that it doesn’t really impact the case too much, other than the potential benefits to A&E and Departure Films of having a different jury pool.
A&E and Departure Films filed a counterclaim against Trademark and Richard Davis. The Defendants claim that Trademark failed to honor the terms of the agreement for Season Two, causing them to resort to a replacement cast. In their answer, they preface the counter claim with the following:
“These counterclaims arise out of Richard Davis’s failure to honor an agreement that he reached with AETN to participate in a second season of AETN’s lifestyle reality show ‘Flip This House.’ The central allegations in Davis’s complaint bear no relationship to reality because AETN and Davis never made any agreement that remotely resembles the terms he alleges. It has always been understood and agreed by all parties, including Davis and Trademark, that AETN exercises final creative authority over ‘Flip This House,’ owns all legal rights in the show, and receives and controls all revenues associated with the show. AETN and Davis reached only one agreement, and Davis broke it. They agreed that Davis would appear in a second season of ‘Flip This House,’ with AETN remaining in its position of creative, economic and legal ownership and control. Davis, however, walked away from this agreement without explanation and publicly announced that he was affiliating himself with a competing network.”
They further claim:
“The first season of ‘Flip This House’ was produced under an agreement between AETN and Departure Films, an independent production company, and a separate agreement between Departure Films and Davis. Neither agreement provided Davis with any rights in the show, any control of the show or any compensation. Davis initially did not seek or receive any direct compensation for his participation in the show because he viewed ‘Flip This House’ as a powerful form of advertising for Trademark, which he hoped to expand or franchise on a national basis.”
So, without further ado, I present you with the current documents:
- Current Federal Court Docket
- Notice of Removal
- A&E and Departure Films’ Pre-Discovery
- A&E and Departure Films’ Answer to the Complaint and Counterclaim
- Certificate of Service of Notice of Removal
- Clerk’s Receipt of Notice of Removal (and attachment)
- Amended Certificate of Service of Notice of Removal
- Amended Notice of Removal (with attachment)
I find it hard to believe that Richard would simply give away all rights to a program that he created. That’s just laughable.
At the same time, I’m surprised that he agreed to do the show without getting the terms in writing.
It seems that Richard simply took them at their word and made the deal over a handshake. It’s sad that honorable men like Richard expect others to be the same and end up getting screwed in the end.
I think you answered your own question.
>>Neither agreement provided Davis with any rights in the show, any control of the show or any compensation.
And yet they counter sue for him to return for season 2. Brilliant.
Sounds like a slam dunk case for Trademark.